Romania has had a plenitude of important figures throughout its entire history; figures that are still mentioned and appraised to this day. Here’s a list of five most famous male figures of Romania’s medieval era, romantic period, monarchy and communism.
Vlad Tepes, known as Vlad the Impaler or Dracula, was the ruler of Wallachia. He lived between 1431 and 1476 and ruled Wallachia three times from 1448 to his death. Vlad got his notorious pseudonym of “the Impaler” due to his favorite method of execution, impalement, whereas the name of Dracula has its roots in the blood line of House of Draculesti. All crimes were punished by impalement: lying, stealing, killing, as Vlad Dracul was a very honest ruler.
Stefan cel Mare / Stephen the Great was the voivode of Moldavia between 1457 and 1504. The extensive rule of Stephen was a period of stability in Moldavia’s history and such he is remembered as a great ruler, today even regarded as one of Romania’s greatest national heroes. He is often regarded as the protector of the peasants against the noblemen or foreign invaders. Stephen has fought 36 battles and only lost two of them, although his army was often outnumbered. After his wars with the Ottoman Empire, Stephen got into cultural development, with dozen churches, monasteries erected in a unique Moldavian Architecture.
Mihai Eminescu was a poet, novelist and journalist of the Romantic Era. Born in 1850, the revolutionary poet only enjoyed 39 years of his life. He is regarded as the most famous and influential poet of Romania. Mihai Eminescu began writing poetry at the age of 16 as Mihail Eminovici. The national poet delivered an inestimable treasure of verse for which he is considered one of the greatest poets in the world of literature. His most famous work is Luceafarul, a dramatic idyll between an astral spirit and an earthly woman.
Nicolae Ceausescu was the communist dictator who brought Romania to its knees for two decades, from 1967 to 1989. After a short time of a moderate rule, Ceausescu became more and more brutal and oppressive. Although he led Romania through times of industrial development, he was also the cause of human misery and denial of culture and religion. As he became a power-hungry dictator, he started huge constructions like the Palace of the Parliament and abolishing everything that reminded of the monarchic era. His great ambition was to pay all of Romania’s debt, but he did this in such way that people got poorer and more miserable. Eventually, the whole of Romanians rose against his tyranny in the 1989 Revolution, when he was executed and the communist regime was abolished, although his imprint is still highly recognized today.
Michael I of Romania was the last king of the Kingdom of Romania. He reigned between 1927 and 1930 and again from 1940 to 1947. Born in 1921, his first rule was just at 8 years old and this was due to his father running away with his mistress. In 1930, Carol II returned to the country and replaced his son as king. After returning to the throne, Michael I had several endeavors to avoid the promotion of the communist party, but to no avail, as he was forced to abdicate in 1947. The communists took all his properties and his citizenship and thus he settled in exile in Switzerland. After the 1989 revolution, Michael tried to return to Romania but he was arrested and forced to leave. He was allowed visit in 1992 where he was highly appraised by Romanians, thing which alarmed the government. In 1997, Michael’s citizenship was given back to him as well as the confiscated properties. The still alive last King of Romania always raises nostalgia between Romanian people, as they regard the Kingdom of Romania as times of flourish.